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Advanced materials from Huntsman have been used in an innovative project that showcases the possibilities of building a concept electric car the ‘U-Box’ using environmentally sustainable components.
The ‘U-Box’ has been designed and produced by French design company, D3. While using materials from its Araldite branded portfolio, Huntsman also researched and developed innovative, sustainable products for each stage of the car’s construction.
This included the preparation of moulds using seamless modelling pastes and boards. It also involved new concepts for developing different automotive components using stereolithography and rapid manufacturing resins as well as the use of encapsulation solutions for the car’s electronic components.
The broad application of high performance composites was a significant factor in increasing the performance and exclusivity of the vehicle’s design. As such, new materials including renewable flax and basalt fibres for reinforcing composite parts have been used in combination with toughened resins as well as halogen free, fire resistant resin and flexible composite.
The ‘U-Box’ also benefits from a new resin range that can be used in fast cycle, resin transfer molding (RTM) for high volume, automotive and mass transportation parts production.
During assembly, Huntsman also provided several composite bonders offering high strength, high flexibility or high temperature resistance. In addition to this, Huntsman and NRG Wheels Ltd, equipped the vehicle with composite wheels.
Thierry Perchet, European Marketing Director of Huntsman Advanced Materials said: “”Developing products that help with sustainability issues and benefit society and quality of life is extremely important to Huntsman. As a leading exponent of material science and engineering, we are proud to be associated with a project that sees technological advance balanced with positive growth in the automotive market through the realisation of this, the latest innovative development in sustainable mobility.””
As a production model, the ‘U-Box’ could be used as an industrial site vehicle or for park and ride hospitality services at events. Its two pallet capacity could also support short distance deliveries in inner cities.
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